Editor's note: Tony Grossi covers the Cleveland Browns for 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Takeaways from Day 13 of Browns training camp …
1. No doinks: It was a good day for the kickers.
In the scripted kicking period, Austin Seibert and made of 4 of 5 field goals, including a long of 53 yards. His miss from 48 was wide right.
Greg Joseph was good on all five.
Then, after a long afternoon practice, coach Freddie Kitchens set up game-winning attempts for each kicker.
Joseph got first crack and, with Britton Colquitt holding, he was good from 44 yards.
Seibert was given another challenge. There was no timeout before his attempt, so the kicking team had to race onto the field with the clock ticking down under 10 seconds. With Jamie Gillan holding, Seibert was good from 52 yards to send everyone to the cold tubs happy.
Kitchens was relieved. "Like I said the other night, I just want it through the uprights," he said.
2. Almost perfect: It turns out the Washington Redskins DID know the Browns would run a no-huddle, two-minute offense right off the start of the preseason opener on Thursday.
Quarterback coach Ryan Lindley said the Browns tipped off both the Redskins and the game officials to their intentions.
“I think in preseason, it’s like everything, you want to know what starters are playing … We didn’t necessarily want to go blitzkrieg on them and catch them off guard,” Lindley said. “The referees knew, the other team knew … so everybody was on board.”
The way Baker Mayfield sped the Browns downfield – getting to second down only one time after an opening incompletion – it looked as if the Redskins weren’t prepared. The fact that they knew what was coming made the drive – 89 yards in seven plays and 2 minutes, 13 seconds – all the more impressive.
“Save the first play … [Mayfield] was a little amped up, probably a little quick throwing to Derrick [Willies]. He puts that on him and it’s pretty much picture perfect on how you want to run a nohuddle, two-minute drive,” Lindley said.
“We went out and said let’s try to get it done with two minutes on the clock. We didn’t take into account with [preseason] clock stoppage rules, we got out of bounds on the one play and they still rolled the clock. We got it done in 2:13, probably just under that in a normal two-minute situation.
“I say perfection, [but] you can always be a little better. He did great. He really thrives in those no-huddle situation.”
We’ll see plenty of that in the season to come, no doubt.
Defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker said that Ward, Williams and Terrance Mitchell play exclusively as outside cornerbacks. The ones being trained to line up inside to defend the slot receiver as the extra nickel back are TJ Carrie, Phillip Gaines and, recently, Eric Murray.
What it means is this: Ward, Williams and Mitchell are generally regarded as the top three cornerbacks on the team. If all are healthy, one of them possibly would not be on the field when the team is in nickel alignment, which nowadays is more than 60 percent of the time.
Asked why wouldn’t one of the top three guys be trained to move inside in the nickel, Walker said, “Sometimes guys are better playing outside than inside. With my experience, you can’t just move a guy inside. Those guys who [can] do both are unique.”
4. Brownie bits: Kareem Hunt got his first reps in team periods. Kitchens would not say if Hunt would play Saturday in Indianapolis. (A lot of play time decisions will follow two days of padded practices against the Colts prior to the game.) Kitchens said he is being cautious about not aggravating the groin injury Hunt brought to camp …
David Njoku made one of his signature catches at the end of a methodical 6-minute offensive drive. Baker Mayfield threw it up in the end zone against a blitz and Njoku soared above safeties Justin Burris and Jermaine Whitehead and hauled it in. In the next period, though, Drew Stanton was intercepted throwing for Njoku when Joe Schobert stepped in front and grabbed it from the big tight end …
Speaking of tight ends, projected No. 2 Demetrius Harris was back after missing a week with a concussion. No. 3 Seth DeValve is in his second week in protocol. The tight end situation behind Njoku has suffered. “I think it’s better today than it was yesterday because we got one of them back,” Kitchens affirmed. “Demetrius has some things to catch up on but I thought he looked pretty good today.”